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From its legendary dim sum to braised chicken feet, roast goose and custard tarts, Hong Kong’s cuisine relies on many influences but is defiantly homegrown. Words: Audrey Gillan


Noodles and a variety of dim sum

The soft yellow ball has googly eyes and when you pierce it with a chopstick, it oozes salted egg-yolk custard. Barbecue pork buns come in the form of pink and white pigs. This playfulness might seem trite to some, and an outright abomination to others, but the plates at Yum Cha in Hong Kong’s Central aren’t only full of fun, they’re really rather good. This is an evolution in dim sum that takes tradition as its base and punks things up a bit. There are chicken wings, deboned and glazed like a toffee apple, and winter melon that’s been soaked in orange juice for two days.

Dim sum literally translates as ‘dot heart’ or, if one were being a little more lyrical ‘heart’s delight’. The idiomatic equivalent is, appropriately, ‘hit the spot’. Eaten as part of a yum cha (morning tea), dim sum originates in Guangdong in mainland China, but by the early 20th century Hong Kong became the ‘dot heart’ capital and chefs here began to create their own delicate pieces to add to what was already an exquisite series of delicacies.

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About National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Walk this way: Lofty passes through volcanic lunar landscapes; ancient pilgrim pathways strewn with churches and ruins; sumptuous forested trails opening out onto vineyards. a rambler’s reward is culture, ambience and wild scenery on the walking routes through Italy, France and Spain